What is Contentment – Is Contentment Achievable?
Worried about your prospects for the next big promotion? Eager to get that coveted salary hike? Nervous about the results of an examination? The machine age has plagued us with daily desires and regular anxiety. Everyone is in the race to achieve their ambition. Failure to do so jeopardizes our happiness and mars our contentment.
So, what is Contentment? Is it just the fulfillment of your ambitions? Or is it the recognition of the life you are already blessed with? Even though contentment may seem elusive, it is merely a matter of altering our perspective. Here’s a low-down on understanding contentment and some easy-to-follow practices to build our daily contentment quotient.
Sphere of influence
Our wants and needs can be broadly classified into those over which we have a high degree of control and those that are involuntary.
Being rewarded for our actions is most of the time beyond our control, but performing them sincerely, to the best of our ability, is well within our means. Most people focus too much on the result, instead of concentrating on their tasks.
Krishna saved Arjuna from falling into this trap when he asked him to perform his karma or duty without worrying about its fruit.
Setting goals for ourselves is a mature decision, which requires adequate attention and care. Goals need to be realistic and achievable to avoid disappointment .
Quite often people get over-ambitious and seek idealistic targets. While we’re always being told to aim for the moon, it should be one that we can see clearly, not one that shines over a distant planet! Usually, the best approach is taking one step at a time, much like the tortoise that beat the hare.
Read more at – The power of goal setting
Finding your joy
It is essential for people to discover hobbies, which they take up for their own sake. A hobby is not just meant to fill up your leisure, it is also meant to give you unconditional joy.
Try and make a list of things that you enjoy, even though they don’t always translate into awards. Some people enjoy baking, others like playing musical instruments, and some people love watching sappy cinema. Doing these things relieves the mind and eases its burdens.
Read more at – Nurturing a hobby
The half-full glass
People often quote the story of the man who kept complaining about his lack of shoes until he came across another who had no legs. It’s true, no matter how miserable we may be feeling about the way life has treated us, there is always someone who is facing a worse deal.
However, wallowing in our misfortune, we seem to neglect our half-full glass and only look at the achievements of others instead of dwelling on our own.
When we realize that suffering is subjective, we become more positive about our prospects. It’s a question of counting your blessings instead of numbering the sorrows.
Psychologists have said that for good health and mental well-being, it is essential for people to speak well of themselves and surround themselves with those who encourage and support them.
If all we ever do is criticize ourselves and surround ourselves with people who discourage us, it is only a matter of time before we begin to feel miserably inadequate and insecure.
A good practice, in this light, is to put up a motivating saying on your work desk at home and in office. It should be something you can go back to every time you worry about where life is taking you and whether you are any closer to achieving your goals.
It’s a time-honored principle that sharing happiness multiplies our joys. Simple acts, such as listening to a friend’s troubles, offering a genuine compliment to someone you appreciate, or keeping in touch with old grandparents, not only bring smiles to the faces of others, but also contribute to one’s own sense of happiness and contentment.
Read more at – Genuinely Help Others
It’s good for the body and excellent for the mind. Sweating it out is extremely important in the quest towards contentment. Playing games like cricket and badminton, or going for a run involves considerable physical effort and is extremely useful in relieving the mind. That exercise releases joy-inducing endorphins is always a bonus.
Read about exercise and find motivation to exercise here
The key to contentment is putting a check on over-thinking and concentrating instead on performing. It is also about being realistic and accepting life for its richness instead of disapproving its shortcomings. There is a time, place, and reason for everything and in realizing this simple truth, we make our existence easier and more meaningful. Hopefully this has been a good read on “what is contentment and ways to achieving it.”
Read more at – what is happiness?